8 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Corporate Physical Security Strategy | 3Sixty Integrated

Creating a corporate physical security strategy is no small task, nor should it be taken lightly. Corporate physical security is your enterprise’s first line of defense for all potential threats, even cyber ones.

With today’s electronic security trends enabling a higher level of security for organizations, the good news is there are a variety of physical security solutions available to combat a range of threats. The bad news is that with all of these options, there are more opportunities for mistakes and security disruptions. This is why having a proactive, well-planned corporate physical security strategy is so important.

Mistakes within your corporate physical security strategy can be costly, both in terms of dollars and human safety. Successfully avoiding these mistakes will allow you to better allocate resources, future-proof solutions, and prevent serious security breaches at your organization.  

1.  Failing to Create a Comprehensive Plan

Meet with your stakeholders and ask questions that speak to where you are now, where you would like to be, and how you plan to get there in terms of security. This includes creating an inventory of existing devices, protocols, and software platforms. Mapping out your whole security infrastructure before making any significant changes will result in a better plan. This is also the time to set priorities and create budgets, but also don’t be afraid to dream big. Think of this “plan” as your security roadmap that will take you where you want to go. It will be ever evolving, but will ultimately guide decision making by bringing it back to what is tangible and real. 

2. Using Disparate Systems

Deploying disparate security systems that don’t communicate with one another prevents systems from working cohesively. Making use of open architecture systems can save you both money and time since they are easier to upgrade, replace, and extend. Closed systems tend to drive up costs and limit how you can expand your system in the future, which is why it’s critical to consider potential future solutions when selecting new technology.

For example, access control and surveillance can connect to create a solution for managing and monitoring in-building foot traffic. These solutions can be further integrated with locks and alarms to trigger automated workflows in the case of an incident. If you are using a brand that requires specialized equipment that doesn’t play well with other systems, you may be locked into that specific technology ecosystem, making these future integrations impossible or costly. Every system should speak to the next for full building coverage.

3. Creating Information Silos

Information silos occur when individuals within a team fail to communicate or are not properly organized. One person may be responsible for the information for access control, while another is expected to handle IP cameras and the data they collect. This leads to a segmentation of information for security devices, processes, protocols, and responsible parties. Silos can also happen within departments, particularly ones with high turnover rates. The continuous loss of knowledge and breaks within the system planning, install, and management processes only slows progress. All key stakeholders should note their roles when it comes to each part of the system and create a plan for information sharing, both presently and in the future.

4. Lacking a Security Awareness Program

A security awareness program is designed to guard against human error in the physical infrastructure by educating employees on their own security awareness. When employees don’t have security awareness, intruders can take advantage. Tailgating, piggybacking, and password sharing are all examples of security threats that can be avoided with simple personal security awareness training. Such training should be conducted frequently taking into account employee turnover, advancements in technology, and new intruder tactics.

5. Creating an Overly Complex Plan

When trying to resolve security issues, companies may adopt a “rip and replace” approach that changes the entire system. This overcorrection can cause issues with both managing and understanding systems, while also being cost-ineffective. When a system becomes overly cumbersome, both in practice and administration, employees find workarounds. They may ignore processes entirely, leaving doors unlocked or networks logged on.

6. Failing to Monitor Ingress/Egress

Access control can manage primary entry points, but companies often overlook rarely used emergency exits or fail to check to make sure the alarms are working. Over time, system owners and their employees may even become “numb” to alarms, assuming they are false alarms because they happen too frequently. Also, traffic inside the building may be less controlled, putting restricted areas at risk. It is important to consider all areas of a facility, entry and exit points (including windows), and how employees and visitors move throughout the building. These factors combined will dictate where and which solutions should be deployed.

7. Thinking Short Term

Consider ongoing maintenance, technical assistance, and system training as a part of your long-term security strategy. Many integrators bundle these service solutions together and even offer benefits such as after-hours support and quarterly reports as a part of a long-term service contract. At first, you may want to decline these additional benefits due to budget concerns, but keeping up with your investment post-install is another part of owning a security system. While you may have been trained when the system was first installed, technology evolves and you will want to know when there are more capabilities you can take advantage of. Likewise, preventative maintenance will ensure your system endures for decades, not just years. 

8. Adding Accessories Before Your Core System

A big mistake organizations make is wanting to implement all the latest and greatest technology as quickly as possible. New technology such as drones, biometrics, and advanced analytics certainly have their place, but not without a core system to rely on. Think of your core system as video surveillance, access control, intrusion, and critical communications. This is the backbone of your security system from which all other technologies are supported. Without establishing a core system first, your accessories can’t meet their full potential and there will be more issues down the road. 

A corporate physical security strategy is key for organizations looking to install, update, and adjust their physical security systems. Not having a properly formulated strategy is as big of a risk as the security threats themselves. The support of an expert integrator can ensure your security program provides the 24/7 protection needed to safeguard personnel and manage assets.

At 3Sixty Integrated, we are here to advance enterprise organizations across multiple verticals to develop and implement sustainable security solutions. With over 20 years of experience, our team designs, installs, and maintains custom security solutions to keep your organization and assets safe and secure. Ready to get started? Contact us today to schedule a 30-meeting consultation or call us at (877) 374-9894.